Shawn Wildermuth


My Rants and Raves about technology, programming, everything else...

Node.js for .NET Developers

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been dipping more than my toe in the waters of Node.js. I think Node.js has a lot to teach us as ASP.NET Web Developers; most of it good.

To this end, I’ve produced a brand-new course for Pluralsight about Node.js specifically for .NET developers. This course covers using Node.js with Visual Studio as well as the command-line tools. It compares and contrasts .NET technologies to their Node.js equivalents.

My Dev Kit: Circa 2014

c64Back in 2008, I posted an entry that showed what I used for my dev kit. It is about to to update it with what I am using now. A lot has changed from back them, but a lot hasn’t. While I do a lot more web development than I did back then, some of the tools haven’t changed but the hardware has.

I am going to be on the road this year, but that’s not the only reason my gear is mobile. I spend most of my time at a coffee shop or onsite with clients so I need gear that all fits into my backpack. The difference with my upcoming year on the road is that my recording gear for my Pluralsight videos and Hello World Podcast have to fit in my luggage too.

Jim Wilson on the Hello World Podcast

In my last episode recorded at the recent Pluralsight Author Summit, Jim Wilson sits down with me and talks his early days. Jim explains how metal-shop and a TRS-80 both led him to get started in this business.

Jim and I don’t necessarily agree about Windows Phone but at least we’re both passionate about mobile platforms. Hear his talk about his early days with Windows Mobile and why he got into Android.

Choose Your Own Adventure with Node.js View Engines

javascriptAs some of you know, I’ve been delving into Node.js for a new Pluralsight course that is coming out soon. One of the interesting aspects to me is the idea of server-side view engines. As an ASP.NET (and ASP before that) guy, I’ve been using server-side view engines for a long time…not that we always called them that.

Most Node.js templates out there (including the Express.js application template that ships with the Node.js Tools for Visual Studio) includes the Jade View Engine.

Node.js and Visual Studio? Sure!

nodejsI’ve been working on a new course for Pluralsight on “Node.js for .NET Developers”. It’s been a fun course to write and one of the aspects of the course that I find interesting is that the open source Node.js Tools for Visual Studio plugin actually works really well.

What I particular like is that it doesn’t change the way you use Node.js – it can live side-by-side with command-line tooling like NPM, Bower, or even node.exe. It doesn’t try to do more than it should.

Client-side Package Manager: How I Love Bower

2353845688_36a304eb95_zDepending on your environment, you’re probably already using some package manager for your server-side code. Gems for Ruby, Nuget for .NET, NPM for Node…whatever. In any of these cases you’re used to being able to get the piece of code you need and the other requirements. For the web this is more difficult…or used to be.

For web projects, we’ve needed a way to get these client-side scripts. Sure Nuget or other package manager *can* do this but it’s been a round peg in a square hole. That’s where Bower comes in.

John Papa is on the Hello World Podcast

John and I have been in many of the same tech circles going back to the ADO.NET days. I was delighted to get to spend some time with him at the recent Pluralsight Author Summit.

John and I both come from the humble Commodore beginnings (I started with a Vic-20, he had a 64). We both have moved beyond Silverlight too. Of course, John’s love affair with Disney isn’t something we share. All of this an more come out in this week’s podcast.

Julie Lerman on the Hello World Podcast

Back in 2002, I released my first book. I was living in Boston at the time and I embarked on a mini-tour of New England to promote the book. I went to a lot of user groups back them to talk about ADO.NET, but a special one was when I visited Julie Lerman and the Vermont .NET Users Group.

That trip started a long friendship. I consider Julie a special gem of technical knowledge. She has a special voice and really cares about celebrating women in technology. I was really happy to hear she’d be on my podcast and this week’s episode is a testament to that. I hope you enjoy it!

OdeToCode Visits the Hello World Podcast

This week I got to talk to K. Scott Allen of OdeToCode and Pluralsight fame. If you haven’t had a chance to watch his Pluralsight courses or hear him talk at a conference near you, you are certainly missing out.

In the latest episode of the Hello World Podcast, I get to chat with him about his early life in computers including his beloved TI-99, writing code to test Chocolate, his decision about joining a gaming company and even hooking up MIDI keyboards to his Atari ST back in the day. I hope you enjoy listening!

Mary Jo Foley on the Hello World Podcast

I’ve been reading Mary Jo Foley’s take on Microsoft for a greater number of years than either of us would like to admit. I’ve been fascinated with her ability to get the early news on most things Microsoft. This week I got a chance to chat with her on my podcast.

When I first approached her about being on the show, she admitted that she doesn’t write code (which she seemed to think disqualified her for the podcast). Hearing her stories about interviewing Microsoft folks in the early days was well worth the time. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. I hope you do too.

Why is DOM-Centric JavaScript Hard to Test?

A lens from microscope used in medical laboratoryWhile producing my recent course on Large Scale JavaScript, I was digging into the testability of JavaScript. So much of the JavaScript I see out there continues to be jQuery driven, DOM-centric JavaScript.

Sure, many of my readers are moving towards AngularJS, Ember and other client-side libraries that encourage modularization, testability, and separation of concerns, but not all web developers are. Ultimately we need to test our JavaScript no matter what the nature of it is.

New Pluralsight Course on Large Scale JavaScript

I am having a great time building courses for Pluralsight. While my early courses focused on XAML technologies, the past few years I’ve been loving building web, HTML and JavaScript focused courses. I’m proud to announce my latest course is now live.

This new course is focused on teaching you how to handle the problems involved in building Large Scale JavaScript projects both in the browser and on the server (e.g. NodeJS).

Michele Leroux Bustamante on My Podcast

I literally learned everything I know about WCF (though that might not be much of a boast) from Michele’s great book on the subject. I got to talk with Michele this week. Our conversation was less about software and more about building a career. We chatted about the nature of passion, workaholic tendencies and the easiest job in the world.

The Hello World Podcast is where I get to talk with some of your favorite authors, developers and speakers about how they got started in software development.

Glenn Block on the Hello World Podcast!

This week I talk with Glenn Block. If you’re using MEF, Web API, or ScriptCS – you have him to thank. I am really grateful that he agreed to wake up at 7am Seattle time to speak with me.  It was great  to hear that Glenn and I shared a lot of early experiences: dBase, Visual Basic, and Radio Shack (ok that last one is Glenn alone ; )

The Hello World Podcast is where I get to talk with some of your favorite authors, developers and speakers about how they got started in software development.

New to Web API? Don't Rush to Implementation

DiscussI’ve been getting good feedback on my Web API course on Pluralsight but some of the comments have concerned me. Lots of the students (from my small sample size) seem to be trying to infer how to *design* an API, not just implement one. That course is specifically about how to implement an API.

What’s important as far as I am concerned is to well design the API (regardless of which way you implement the API). So if you’re starting to use Web API and you need an API for your app, for your customers, or for others to consume (e.g. 3rd party developers) – stop figuring out how to implement the API and go back and design the API.

Why Should You Care About NodeJS?

javascriptI know that many of my readers are .NET guys and a core constituency actively hate JavaScript so bear with me and let’s talk about NodeJS for a minute.

Just to be clear, I am not advocating anything by this post. What I think is important is that as you mature as a developer that you look at whatever is happening in the community and be open to why something is new  and what new ideas are being proffered by the new technology. My hope is that this post will show some of that.

Charles Petzold on the Hello World Podcast!

This week on the Hello World Podcast I had the exceptional experience to interview one of my heroes. Charles Petzold’s books on Windows development was key in my development as a software engineer. I bought my copy back in the early ‘90s when I was doing C++ development. It’s amazing how much you can learn about how the Windows works by writing your own message pump. Take a listen and hear how this luminary got started!

The Hello World Podcast is where I get to talk with some of your favorite authors, developers and speakers about how they got started in software development.

You can listen to episode 8 here:

http://wildermuth.com/hwpod/8_CharlesPetzold

What You've Missed on the Hello World Podcast

Thanks for all the support to everyone who’s been listening to my new podcast it’s been awesome to record. I’ve had a great time talking about how people got their start in software development. I thought there would be more commonality in first computers and languages, but it’s remarkably varied.

If you aren’t subscribed, you’ve missed some good episodes. In the past few weeks we’ve had:

Hello World Podcast Episode 4: Brian Noyes

A new episode of my new podcast is out. In this episode I talk with Brian Noyes about how he got started. It’s an interesting story that involves fighter jets, DirectX and Visual Basic!

The Hello World Podcast is where I get to talk with some of your favorite authors, developers and speakers about how they got started in software development.

Bootstrap 3 Grid System Explained

Are you starting to work with Bootstrap 3? If so, maybe I can help. I’ve recently released a Bootstrap 3 course on Pluralsight that covers many of the new features including how to migrate from Bootstrap 2 to 3.

Here is an excerpt from the course where I explain how the new grid system works in Bootstrap 3:

Hello World Episode 3: Chris Sells

The third episode of my podcast (“The Hello World Podcast”) is now available. In this episode I had the chance to sit down with Chris at the MVP Summit (which explains the background noise). He is one of my best friends (and my best man at my upcoming wedding).

We talk (as usual) about how he got started. I even learned some things about him. I think you’ll really enjoy this episode:

Building an API Course now with Web API 2

If you’re interesting learning how the new Web API 2 works, you’ll be happy to hear that my popular Pluralsight course “Implementing an API using ASP.NET Web API” now has a new module that shows you how to use the new features in Web API 2!

Xbox One - First Impressions

downloadMy pre-order of the Xbox One arrived on Monday and I’ve had a little time to play with it. I mostly got the device for Forza which I love. So after a couple of days with it, here are my first impressions.

Let’s start with the Operating System. It’s gorgeous and fluid. The switching between apps is really impressive. While it’s missing some features from it’s 360 counterpart, I find it really satisfying.

A Different Kind of Podcast

c64I am happy to announce that I am starting a podcast. I’ve been thinking about this for a while but I didn’t want to just do another podcast that talked about what is new in software development.

I’ve been listening to the Nerdist Podcast a lot and it gave me an idea. The Nerdist is fun because they talk to a lot of the people I like and often talk about the business more than just plug the latest project. I am interested in these same stories about software luminaries.

Web API 2's Attribute Routing: Looking Deeper

underwaterI recently recorded a new module for ASP.NET  Web API course (on Pluralsight) to cover the new features of Web API 2 (it’s not out yet, soon…I promise).

It was fun plumbing the depths of how it works. I generally like the feature but the implementation may change some of your code if you’re dealing with routes under the covers (i.e. for auth or versioning).


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